Best Companies rank: 6
Name: Simon Otto
Title: Head of character animation on the upcoming movie, "How to Train Your Dragon"
Years with the company: 13
I got hired straight out of animation school in Paris. I got hired directly as an animator, which back then meant hand-drawn animation. Through the years we transitioned to a fully CG studio. But essentially the job is exactly the same and it's absolutely driven by artistry. What's different is the tool set. Instead of hands and a pencil we now use keyboards and a mouse.
Currently we're deep into 3D. The community of like-minded artists and technicians from around the world that you get to work with -- it's like sitting in the front row at a Lakers game and watching people play that are at the top of their level.
I have a one-year-old son and I can't wait to show him some of the movies. Being a dad changes your perspective. I already feel a sense of pride thinking about showing him the movies I've worked on. I know what it means to do a regular job and I love where I'm at. This is a hobby that has turned into a career.